Saturday 12 November 2022

Space Bandits (Texas Instruments TI-99/4A review)

Developer: Milton Bradley
Publisher: Milton Bradley
Released: 1983

Space Bandits is a maze game that optionally supports the Speech Synthesizer module.

+ Your bullets can wrap around the sides of tunnels which makes for some interesting strategic manoeuvres.

+ Music is excellent with some dissonant harmonies, as well as melodies that evoke a sinister tone.

+ The faux 3D perspective looks terrific and creates a real depth to each playfield that still impresses.

- However, the unusual perspective can make it difficult to know exactly where each turn starts, leading to cheap deaths.

- The minimal Speech Synthesizer voice clips feel like an afterthought rather than something to enhance gameplay.

- Seven input keys are required during play, which is convoluted and perhaps a bit too complicated for most users.

- Compared to its clear inspiration in Pac-Man (1980, Arcade) it lacks any personality, and isn't as immediately intuitive.

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